The Stena Line Belfast Giants are pleased to announce the addition of Colin Shields, Blair Riley and Matt Towe for the 2017/18 season. All three players are returning to the Giants line up under the leadership of Head Coach Adam Keefe when the new season begins.
Colin Shields, who re-joins the Giants for a tenth season, is the Giants all-time leading points scorer and goal scorer and has played in 517 games, posting 208 goals and 351 assists – good for an impressive 559 points overall for the organisation.
Shields, 37 who hails from Glasgow, was selected 195th overall in the 2000 NHL draft by the Philadelphia Flyers and the Team GB star played his first season as a Giant in 2005/06 – winning his first Elite League title with the organisation, before going on to win the Challenge Cup and Knockout Cup in 2009, the 2010 Playoff championship before lifting the league trophy once more in 2013/14.
Last season Shields was named by the Elite League as the ‘Best British Player’ thanks to 29 goals and 27 assists in 67 games played. The 2017/18 season will also see Shields host a testimonial game on Tuesday 21st November when his ‘All-Star’ team will take on the current Giants line up.
Blair Riley makes it two seasons in-a-row with the Giants after the 6’0” Power Forward arrived in Northern Ireland in 2016 from the AHL where he spent the 2015/16 season with the Stockton Heat.
Riley, from Kamloops, BC, Canada, brought both size and firepower to the Giants offensive line up during the 2016/17 Elite League season. The 31 year old posted 30 goals and 31 assists, good for 61 points in 56 games played. At the 2016/17 Awards Night, Riley picked up both the Most Valuable Player Award as well as the Players’ Player of the Year Award.
Matt Towe returns for a second consecutive season and a third season overall with the Giants. Towe, 29, first iced for the Giants during the 2012/13 season and has helped the organisation to two second place finishes in the Elite League as well as a Playoff Final appearance in 2013.
Towe re-joined the Giants in 2016 from the Guildford Flames where he posted 28 goals and 88 assists in 109 games played. In his two seasons with the Giants, Towe has become a firm fans favourite, recording 9 goals and 25 assists in 113 games played.